Summer in Santa Monica is ripe with possibility and adventure—and there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. From picnics in parks, to shredding the gnar, we’ve come up with a quick list that’ll help you experience the city like a local.


Amazebowls serves refreshing acai smoothies from a small kiosk that’s just a three minute walk from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Each bowl comes with granola and three toppings, and can be customized to suit your mood. Served in coconut bowls, and often garnished with dried citrus and edible flowers, you’d be hard pressed to find a better looking, or better tasting summer snack. Amazebowls: 1425 Ocean Front Walk; 310-384-2202

Palisades Park

Located along Ocean Avenue and in the coastal sandstone bluffs, Palisades Park is the ideal spot for a little SoCal relaxation. With petanque courts, walking paths, lush trees and a rose garden, plan to spend a warm, low key afternoon in the park’s 26 acres.

Santa Monica Farmers Market

If you want to feel like a local, we suggest shopping and eating like one. Check out the Santa Monica Farmers Market year-round, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Pick up some local produce, pack it up, and head out for a picnic at Palisades Park. Santa Monica Farmers Market: 2640 Main St; 310-458-8712

Go Surf L.A.

Learn to shred like the locals by taking a surfing or paddleboarding lesson with Go Surf L.A. Instructors are known for being super friendly, knowledgeable and patient, putting landlubbers and first timers at ease. Go Surf LA: 2030 Ocean Front Walk; 310-428-9870

Mainland Poké Shop

At this new and trendy Marina Del Rey poké shop, fish arrives fresh every day, and bowls are built to order, so you can experiment with all kinds of fun flavor combinations. Regulars recommend the sriracha aioli, and warm, mango sticky rice. Mainland Poke Shop: 411 Santa Monica Blvd; 310-310-3746

The Santa Monica Stairs

Santa Monica natives are known for staying active and keeping fit. If you’re feeling guilty about indulging in the city’s finest fare, lace up your sneakers and head over to the infamous Santa Monica Stairs to sweat out your sins like a local. Santa Monica Stairs: 699 Adelaide Dr